I might feel like I’m failing at everything else at the moment. Losing it. But, every little bit of negative feeling. Every sense of injustice, every death wish, every tear, every kick in the stomach, every “maybe my head will feel better tomorrow”, everything will go into turning pedals next weekend. If I can’t be good at the other stuff, I can hurt myself trying to be good at riding my bike.
I might come last, I might do well. I don’t care. I want to cross the line, barely able to turn another pedal. Unable to see. Unable to think. Before I get to that stage, I will have had 24 hours of fun. I will have smiled at the start line. I will take pleasure from the initial lung burning run. I will focus on every single opportunity to carve a corner, to pop a little jump while I still have the energy. I will then enjoy the sheer mindlessness of riding around in a circle for the coming hours. I will embrace the oncoming darkness. Relish the thought of switching on my light, and shrinking my world even further. I will be thankful that my mind only wants to contemplate the next calories, not the failings of my life, relationships, dreams. I will treasure every moment I gain the company of a friend out on course, whether I know them already, or never see them again. I will appreciate the definition of being solo. By myself. Most importantly, I will just feel incredibly lucky for the opportunity to ride my bike until I can’t anymore.
Today is the first day that I haven’t stepped over some form of two wheels for well over a week. Most days, I’ve been riding twice. I’ve grabbed the opportunity of being the Cairngorms for a few days, and explored. Jinking forest singletrack, trail centre jumps and drops, high mountains. Sweat dripping on my top tube, hairs standing on the back of my neck. I’ve needed this more than I dare admit. I don’t want to think about how important these things are to me, because then I will have to contemplate what will happen if they go.
As soon as I stop. As soon as I climb off, then the other thoughts come. For now, I don’t even feel strong enough to face them head on. So, instead, I’ll climb back on, and batter them into submission.